Is computer science a dead end in the workforce?

As software development tools grow more advanced and more coding moves offshore, the need for advanced development expertise is on the decline, InfoWorld reports. The future is bright for programmers, we’re often told. And yet, some analysts now suggest the picture is not as rosy for recent computer science grads as we would think. According to the latest data from the U.K.’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), computer science graduates in the United Kingdom now have the hardest time finding work of graduates in any subject, with an unemployment rate of 17 percent. It should come as no surprise that legal and medical students fare significantly better — the latter having a jobless rate of practically nil — but the HESA data suggest that new students might be better off pursuing foreign languages, marketing, or even creative arts, rather than computer science. While the situation in the United States might not be so dire, in truth few companies share Google’s zeal for academic credentials when hiring new developers. Many are willing to accept self-taught programmers, particularly if they have other skills relevant to the business. Some have implemented in-house training programs to allow employees from other disciplines to transition into software development roles. And as development tools themselves become more sophisticated and accessible, even workers with little formal knowledge of programming are trying their hands at creating applications. All are ominous signs that demand for computer science education in the job market might be on the wane…

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